ENVIRONMENTAL COVENANTS AND RESTRICTIVE NOTICES IN COLORADO Gary

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ENVIRONMENTAL COVENANTS AND RESTRICTIVE NOTICES IN COLORADO Gary W. Baughman, Division Director 2010 Long-Term

ENVIRONMENTAL COVENANTS AND RESTRICTIVE NOTICES IN COLORADO Gary W. Baughman, Division Director 2010 Long-Term Surveillance and Maintenance Conference November 17, 2010

Colorado’s Institutional controls legislation � � � 2001 – SB 01 -145 created environmental

Colorado’s Institutional controls legislation � � � 2001 – SB 01 -145 created environmental covenants 2008 – SB 08 -139 created restrictive notices Both are codified in Colorado Hazardous Waste Act 2

Colorado Environmental Covenants � Legally enforceable mechanism � Makes land water use restrictions imposed

Colorado Environmental Covenants � Legally enforceable mechanism � Makes land water use restrictions imposed as part of cleanups enforceable in perpetuity � Binding against current & subsequent owners, any person using the land � Injunctive relief only; no penalties � CDPHE must approve all covenants 3

How do covenants work? � � Covenant created by grant from property owner to

How do covenants work? � � Covenant created by grant from property owner to CDPHE Must provide notice to others with interest in affected property Recorded in county clerk’s office to provide notice to subsequent purchasers Can be modified or terminated with CDPHE approval 4

When is a covenant required? � � � Post-July 1, 2001 remedial decisions that

When is a covenant required? � � � Post-July 1, 2001 remedial decisions that rely on land/water use restriction to achieve “safe” levels, or include engineered structure Applies to cleanups under RCRA, CERCLA, UMTRCA, state hazardous waste law, radiation site decommissioning, closure of hazardous and solid waste disposal sites SB 145 does not mandate use of covenants � Agency may decide use restrictions are inappropriate, require more cleanup 5

The amendments � SB 08 -037 creates a “notice of environmental use restriction” (a/k/a

The amendments � SB 08 -037 creates a “notice of environmental use restriction” (a/k/a “restrictive notice”) � an alternative mechanism to an environmental covenant � Functions just like a covenant � Explicitly based on state’s police power � Not an interest in property � Environmental covenant provisions essentially unchanged 6

Creating a restrictive notice � 3 methods: � Department approves proposed notice � Department

Creating a restrictive notice � 3 methods: � Department approves proposed notice � Department issues notice upon request � Department issues unilateral notice when person who is required to create a covenant fails to do so w/in 30 days of cleanup decision/remedy completion � Notification/content requirements similar to those for EC’s 7

Prior interests don’t interest you? They should! � � � If EC is a

Prior interests don’t interest you? They should! � � � If EC is a property interest, it does not bind prior recorded interest in the property (e. g. , lender, owner of severed mineral rights, easement holder), unless that entity subordinates its interest thru written agreement Police power mechanism is binding on prior interests, but may cause “takings” issues Solution: always I. D. prior interests by obtaining adequate title information; subordinate prior interests where necessary 8

Slickrock UMTRCA site • • • DOE cleanup program; NRC oversight Pre-2001 remedy: remove

Slickrock UMTRCA site • • • DOE cleanup program; NRC oversight Pre-2001 remedy: remove tailings, institutional controls for groundwater plume; some residual soil contamination NRC wants environmental covenant Covenant drafted before title information obtained; prohibited excavation Title info showed many potentially conflicting prior interests 9

Slickrock UMTRCA site, cont’d. Problem: difficult or impossible to obtain multiple subordination agreements, so

Slickrock UMTRCA site, cont’d. Problem: difficult or impossible to obtain multiple subordination agreements, so covenant may not bind prior recorded interests • Solution: • Allow excavation in accordance with soils management plan Substitute restrictive notice for environmental covenant 10

Slickrock lessons learned • Do title review first! It informs: Choice of appropriate mechanism

Slickrock lessons learned • Do title review first! It informs: Choice of appropriate mechanism (covenant or restrictive notice) Scope of use restrictions • By combining a restrictive notice with appropriately tailored use restrictions, can create enforceable controls, while avoiding takings issues and need to obtain subordination agreements that would be required with an environmental covenant 11

QUESTIONS? Gary W. Baughman 303 -692 -3338 gary. baughman@state. co. us

QUESTIONS? Gary W. Baughman 303 -692 -3338 gary. [email protected] co. us